IACHR grants precautionary measures in favor of Brenda Andrew on death row in the United States

February 27, 2024

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 6/24 on February 26, 2024, by which it granted precautionary measures, related to petition 1035-21, in favor of Brenda Evers Andrew, who is sentenced to death in Oklahoma, in the United States of America. The IACHR considered that she is in a serious and urgent situation presenting a risk of irreparable harm to her rights.

The request alleges that Brenda Andrews has been held for more than 18 years on death row and that she faces the risk of imminent execution, which is likely to be scheduled in March or April 2024. It is alleged that the writ of certiorari that is to be presented before the United States Supreme Court and the request of clemency to the governor of Oklahoma have low possibility to succeed.

It was alleged that several articles of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (due process, right to equality before law, right to a fair trial and adequate defense) were violated. In particular, the applicants alleged that her trial was loaded by gender-based stereotypes and a discriminatory narrative.

For its part, the State reported that it forwarded the request for precautionary measures to the Attorney General of the state of Oklahoma and reaffirmed its position that the Commission lacks authority to require States to take precautionary measures.

In the resolution, the Commission considered that Brenda Andrew's rights are at risk due to the imminent execution of the death penalty, and its consequent effects on her petition, which is currently being analyzed by the Commission. Accordingly, the Inter-American Commission requests that the United States of America:

  1. adopt the necessary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of Brenda Evers Andrew; and
  2. refrain from carrying out the death penalty on Brenda Evers Andrew, until the IACHR has had the opportunity to reach a decision on her petition.

The decision to grant this precautionary measure and its adoption by the State do not constitute a prejudgment of any petition filed with the inter-American system alleging violations of the rights protected in the American Convention and other applicable instruments.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 043/24

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